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MLB Ready Prospects: Top 30 Rankings for Fantasy (Week 17)


By Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As many of you know by now, I am a die-hard Reds fan. So when Johnny Cueto was traded to the Kansas City Royals, I was sad to see him leave, but was glad to see the Reds front office actually make a trade.

A lot of Reds fans have complained about the return for Cueto because it didn’t include Kyle Zimmer, Raul Mondesi, or Sean Manaea. I personally think that the Reds made out like bandits in this deal acquiring a lefty with a lot of potential in Brandon Finnegan, a former top prospect in John Lamb, and a sneaky good lefty in Cody Reed. My guess is that this is the beginning of a massive fire sale with Mike Leake, Marlon Byrd, Jay Bruce, and Manny Parra all being dealt to other teams.

Removed from the list
Stephen Piscotty – called up
Michael Conforto – called up
Joe Ross – called up
Zach Lee – called up

 

Major League Prospects - Fantasy Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely going to rise to the major leagues and provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2015, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this power rankings list and replaced.

 

1. Corey Seager (SS, LAD, AAA) – LW: 1
Stats: 374 PA, .301/.348/.506, 13 HR, 3 SB, 12.8 K% rate, 6.4% BB rate
ETA: Late August / Early September (expanded rosters)
Jimmy Rollins has started off the second half of the 2015 campaign playing much better than he had in the first half. And while this really hurts Corey Seager’s fantasy value, it doesn’t fully diminish it. There is still a chance that Jimmy Rollins is dealt in an effort to try and get Seager playing time. If Rollins remains with the Dodgers after the All-Star Break, Corey Seager may not see time until September.

 

2. Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN, AAA) – LW: 2
Stats: 100.1 IP, 3.59 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 9.87 K/9, 4.75 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9, 1.23 WHIP
ETA: Early August
At the moment, it does not look like Robert Stephenson will jump immediately into the rotation, but will instead make a few more starts at Triple-A. Tony Cingrani is going to be the replacement of Johnny Cueto in the rotation, but Stephenson should end up replacing Mike Leake once he is traded. The x-factor at the moment is the also MLB-ready pitcher John Lamb who was recently acquired in the Cueto trade.

 

3. Jose Peraza (SS, ATL, AAA) – LW: 3
Stats: 410 PA, .294/.319/.372, 3 HR, 25 SB, 8.3% K rate, 3.7% BB rate
ETA: Late July
Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe have now been dealt, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jose Peraza will get called up in the next few days to replace them. It certainly doesn’t hurt though. Peraza doesn’t have anything left to prove in the minors and should be up with the big league club at the latest by early August.

 

4. Daniel Norris (SP, TOR, AAA) – LW: 4
Stats: 85.2 IP, 4.10 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 7.98 K/9, 3.89 BB/9, 0.53 HR/9, 1.49 WHIP
ETA: Early August
The Toronto Blue Jays are in desperate need for pitching help and they have decided that they are going to fix their rotation through trades. The two trade chips that they have really dangled in front of sellers are Jeff Hoffman and Daniel Norris. If a trade happens for a starting pitcher and Norris isn’t dealt, he could be in trouble. If he is dealt, he would immediately be a starter for whatever team acquires him. If he stays and the Blue Jays don’t acquire a starter, then he will likely jump into their rotation.

 

5. Jon Gray (SP, COL, AAA) – LW: 6
Stats: 109.1 IP, 4.53 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 8.40 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9, 1.52 WHIP
ETA: Early August
The same argument with Jose Peraza is applicable to Jon Gray. Gray doesn’t have anything left to prove at Triple-A. The Rockies’ rotation has been awful as usual and could benefit from seeing what Gray can do at the Major League level. He struggled in his first month, but has been electric since then. His presence won’t make the Rockies a contender, but it will give them a hint of what is to come in the future.

 

6. Peter O’Brien (C, ARI, AAA) – LW: 5
Stats: 385 PA, .273/.320/.511, 17 HR, 1 SB, 22.9% K rate, 5.5% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August
Peter O’Brien has proven himself to be one of the best power hitters in the minors throughout his career and is currently in the midst of yet another great season. At the moment though, his only clear path to the majors is through a trade to another team or to have one of the outfielders on the Diamondbacks roster traded. This next week will have a major impact on his fantasy value for the rest of the season.

 

7. Luis Severino (SP, NYY, AAA) – LW: 7
Stats: 93.1 IP, 2.60 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 8.49 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9, 1.05 WHIP
ETA: Early August
The Yankees were unable to acquire Johnny Cueto and they don’t appear likely to acquire Cole Hamels. At the moment, there is a chance that they won’t be able to acquire even a middle of the rotation starter as a result of their lack of prospect depth. If they don’t acquire a starter, Luis Severino is definitely going to be given a shot to prove himself as a Major League ready arm.

 

8. Hector Olivera (3B, LAD, AAA) – LW: 9
Stats: 74 PA, .348/.392/.493, 2 HR, 0 SB, 12.2% K rate, 6.8% BB rate
ETA: Early August
The Dodgers are in a position where they could capitalize on the high valued Justin Turner (high production for low salary), but there has not been much commotion about the possibility of moving him. If Turner is dealt, it would be to bring Hector Olivera up to the majors. If Turner is not moved by the deadline, then Olivera’s fantasy stock will tank unless you are in a keeper league.

 

9. Tyler Duffey (SP, MIN, AAA) – LW: 10
Stats: 123.1 IP, 2.41 ERA, 2.33 FIP, 7.95 K/9, 2.12 BB/9, 0.07 HR/9, 1.09 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
The Twins rotation could use some upgrades and they should look to do so internally rather than through trades. Mike Pelfrey, Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, and Tommy Milone each have FIPs over 4.00 and both Trevor May and Ricky Nolasco currently have ERAs over 4.00. Tyler Duffey has been extremely sharp in both Double-A and Triple-A and would be an immediate improvement in their rotation. He currently looks like the rotation favorite over other dominant right-hander Jose Berrios.

 

10. Zach Davies (SP, BAL, AAA) – LW: 17
Stats: 95.1 IP, 3.02 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 7.55 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, 0.38 HR/9, 1.24 WHIP
ETA: When Bud Norris is traded
With talks that the Orioles are trying to trade Bud Norris, it appears that the club is looking to open a spot in their rotation for another starter. In my opinion, the Orioles do not have the prospect depth needed to acquire a top notch starting pitcher unless they deal Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, or Kevin Gausman (all scenarios are unlikely). Zach Davies has proven that he is ready to be a capable Major League pitcher and is currently looking like their backup solution in the event that they can’t get another starter.

 

11. Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX, AA) – LW: 13
Stats: 385 PA, .287/.358/.450, 12 HR, 1 SB, 21.0% K rate, 9.6% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August
There are two potential ways Nomar Mazara will have value: getting traded for a guy like Cole Hamels or getting called up to fix the outfield problem. The Rangers outfield hasn’t been great and could really use an improvement, but Mazara could also be the headline trade piece to the Phillies in a deal for Hamels. Either way, I expect Mazara to be called up soon and have a positive fantasy impact on anyone willing to give him a chance.

 

12. Joey Gallo (3B, TEX, AAA) – LW: 12
Stats: 229 PA, .266/.380/.563, 14 HR, 1 SB, 34.1% K rate, 15.7% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up
Joey Gallo has struggled at Triple-A, but he still has as much fantasy value as anybody. He may not be a five category contributor, but he is the left-handed equivalent as Miguel Sano who has been quite good at the majors in spite of a 35.1% K rate. Gallo may not see any time until September (and he is not worth the stash yet), but he will be a very strong fantasy contributor when he is back in the Majors for any leagues that don’t take off points for strikeouts.

 

13. Yorman Rodriguez (OF, CIN, AAA) – LW: 16
Stats: 326 PA, .269/.308/.429, 10 HR, 4 SB, 24.5% K rate, 5.2% BB rate
ETA: Whenever Jay Bruce is traded
The Reds are (hopefully) about to embark on a huge fire sale and they have two great bats ready to be dealt: Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd. Jay Bruce would leave a hole in right field that is clearly going to be filled by Yorman Rodriguez. Rodriguez has a lot of potential to be a great outfielder as he could potentially contribute in all five fantasy stats. He also has the potential to sputter out and be a dud. I would wait to add him to a starting lineup until he has a few more games under his belt.

 

14. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN, AAA) – LW: 14
Stats: 115.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 8.90 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, 0.55 HR/9, 1.12 WHIP
ETA: Mid-August
Jose Berrios will not be among the names dealt this trade season, but he still has a chance to have a fantasy impact in 2015. He has pitched very well in his last two starts (1.29 ERA in 14.0 IP with only three walks and 10 strikeouts) and could fight his way into the Twins rotation if they feel they need the help. Tyler Duffey is still the favorite to get the spot in 2015, but Berrios has a better chance to be a future ace.

 

15. Adam Duvall (3B, SF, AAA) – LW: 11
Stats: 416 PA, .274/.317/.525, 23 HR, 4 SB, 21.4% K rate, 5.5% BB rate
ETA: Mid-August
Adam Duvall’s best chance of having a major fantasy impact in 2015 is by being traded away from San Francisco this season. Duvall has tremendous power and could provide in the batting average category as well, but he has a problem with strikeouts in the minors which could be an issue at the Major League level.

 

16. Darnell Sweeney (OF, LAD, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 423, .279/.334/.430, 8 HR, 28 SB, 24.3% K rate, 7.6% BB rate
ETA: Early August
The Dodgers are pushing very hard for a pitcher this trade deadline and they have already made very clear the fact that they are not dealing uber prospects Julio Urias or Corey Seager. Darnell Sweeney is very likely to be dealt if the Dodgers do in fact pull off a trade. Sweeney is a potential five category contributor as he has amassed a lot of stolen bases in his career and has shown flashes of plus power.

 

17. John Lamb (SP, CIN, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 94.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 9.16 K/9, 2.77 BB/9, 0.67 HR/9, 1.16 WHIP
ETA: Early August
John Lamb is going to battle with Tony Cingrani and Robert Stephenson for the two rotation spots that are going to open up. One of them has already opened and it is likely going to go to Cingrani, but Cingrani has struggled this season and has had some health issues. Once the 42nd overall prospect in baseball according to MLB.com (2011), Lamb has struggled a bit with injury. He has been strong this season though and could make a very compelling case to join the rotation.

 

18. Alen Hanson (2B, PIT, AAA) – LW: 22
Stats: 380 PA, .279/.326/.406, 5 HR, 27 SB, 16.6% K rate, 6.8% BB rate
ETA: Early August
Alen Hanson is another player whose value is entirely based on the idea of him being dealt to a losing team. He has shown that he is Major League ready and though the Pirates have a few middle infielders on the DL, they have the depth to replace them without calling up Hanson. If called up, Hanson would contribute a lot of stolen bases to a fantasy team while providing five to ten home runs with a decent batting average.

 

19. Trea Turner (SS, WAS, AAA) – LW: 19
Stats: 400 PA, .316/.368/.463, 7 HR, 21 SB, 19.8% K rate, 8.0% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up
Trea Turner likely will not be up in the majors until September, but he could still have a great fantasy impact from a weak offensive position. Turner has had a real breakout season and looks like a future All-Star shortstop for the Nationals. Turner won’t put up much power stats, but he will contribute stolen bases, runs scored, and a dependable batting average.

 

20. Aaron Blair (SP, ARI, AAA) – LW: 24
Stats: 113.0 IP, 3.19 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 7.01 K/9, 2.63 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, 1.18 WHIP
ETA: September Call Up
Aaron Blair was really kicked around in his first start at Triple-A, but has been very sharp in his four starts following that one. He has thrown 25.2 IP since then and has posted a 2.45 ERA with only eight walks and 20 strikeouts. Blair could be a great starter for the Diamondbacks if they opt to call him up and though he won’t rack up gaudy strikeout totals, he would be a very dependable arm for fantasy teams in need of an arm.

 

21. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT, AA) – LW: 26
Stats: 62.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 10.97 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, 0.14 HR/9, 0.93 WHIP
ETA: September Call Up

 

22. Henry Owens (SP, BOS, AAA) – LW: 25
Stats: 116.1 IP, 3.25 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 7.74 K/9, 4.26 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP
ETA: September Call Up

 

23. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY, AAA) – LW: 29
Stats: 375 PA, .282/.352/.485, 14 HR, 2 SB, 23.5% K rate, 9.6% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up

 

24. Aaron Altherr (OF, PHI, AAA) – LW: NR
Stats: 389 PA, .297/.366/.496, 12 HR, 14 SB, 17.5% K rate, 9.5% BB rate
ETA: Late August

 

25. Kyle Waldrop (OF, CIN, AAA) – LW: 20
Stats: 349 PA, .260/.295/.382, 6 HR, 2 SB, 23.8% K rate, 4.6% BB rate
ETA: Whenever Marlon Byrd is traded

 

26. Josh Bell (1B, PIT, AA) – LW: 21
Stats: 407 PA, .313/.385/.436, 5 HR, 6 SB, 11.5% K rate, 10.8% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up

 

27. Jake Thompson (SP, TEX, AA) – LW: NR
Stats: 81.2 IP, 4.41 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 8.04 K/9, 3.09 BB/9, 0.44 HR/9, 1.42 WHIP
ETA: Late August

 

28. Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM, AA) – LW: 27
Stats: 313 PA, .271/.351/.361, 2 HR, 0 SB, 18.5% K rate, 9.3% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up

 

29. Christian Walker (1B, BAL, AAA) – LW: 28
Stats: 403 PA, .268/.323/.411, 9 HR, 0 SB, 23.1% K rate, 7.2% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up

 

30. Gavin Cecchini (SS, NYM, AA) – LW: 30
Stats: 383 PA, .300/.360/.432, 7 HR, 2 SB, 10.4% K rate, 8.4% BB rate
ETA: September Call Up

 

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